Why now do I bring this up? Thanks to an abundance of recent inspiration:
- A sex educator in Rhode Island is being blocked from opening the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health due to (you guessed it...) zoning issues!
- Google Checkout, of the all-amazing (and all-powerful) Google, shut down our account after a mere 48 hours of having selfservetoys linked to their shopping results.
Seriously? I keep thinking of the SNL weekend update with Amy Poehler and ... where they just get more and more astounded by the stupidity of the actual news. Well, so am I! Megan Andelloux in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, wants to open a welcoming, safe space to learn about sexuality and improve relationships. Megan Andelloux is supported by sex educators, sex therapists, the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists and all her potential business neighbors. But the city is using zoning (as usual) as an excuse to keep her from doing great work. Now she has an expensive legal battle on her hands.
What are you so afraid of, people?! I have to admit, it reminds me of the cold-hearted adult children on Grey's Anatomy last week. I was so proud of the 82-year-old character for pursuing his penile implant. Sure it's not a liver transplant, but if that man wants to enjoy his good health with a new love, that is a beautiful thing! Yet his middle-aged children were embarrassed, critical, condescending and judgmental.
Sex is healthy and pleasure is good for you. This concept is apparently still radical. What a pity.
The first time I got really mad at the all-mighty Google.
Well guess where you can find over 5 million pages of shopping results for even one vibrating item in Google Shopping results? Oh, silly me. I thought that policy was bunk since all the most gigantic online retailers seem to be selling adult toys through Google Checkout.
If you are new to the world of Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center, here are a few more reasons we get fed up with censorship:
- Banks won't lend to any sex education business. Even with the economy in a slump, no SBA loans for new businesses teaching sex education. Even when we won an award for our business plan, no institutional lender would touch us. Instead, we found 9-plus amazing real people willing to help fund our start-up.
- Four landlords in Albuquerque said no to us before we found a retail space.
- Our Pornotopia independent erotic film festival is awaiting another court decision about zoning violations in 2008. We'll keep you posted as this year's festival approaches.
- We once had to fight to publish a subtle picture of a bunny when designing a $700 magazine advertisement.
- Online merchant service-providers say no to adult web sites of any kind.
- After paying hundreds of dollars for insurance for over a year, our provider gave us 30 days to find a new underwriter -- because of what we sell.
- We once donated a silent auction item worth $50 to support continuing education for teen moms. The auction organizer rejected our donation. We found out only after the fundraiser.
- Pay attention. Speak Out. When voices are not being heard -anyone's voice- free speech is being censored. As Audre Lorde famously stated, "Your silence will not protect you."
- Support small, local and minority-owned businesses. Your money is exponentially more likely to stay in your community.
- If you believe in the right to a sex-positive life- support free speech and sex education.
- Support Megan's effort to open the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health in Pawtucket, RI. We're getting more action steps from her soon!
- Attend Pornotopia Erotic Film Festival in Albuquerque, NM!
- Support your local ACLU!